Michael Shafai

Club Member Since 12/24/2003

Michael Shafai - Slickrock Trail - Moab, Utah
Slickrock Trail - Moab, Utah

“If you do the things you know you should be doing today, it means you can do the things you want to be doing tomorrow.”

City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: Anything I get for free Size: 11.5

Age: 50.9 years old

Marital Status: Happily, to fellow runner, Stephanie Wurtz

Family members:
Humorous daughter since 1999 - Alexandra
Future trail runner son since 2001 - Benjamin

What I do for work:
Vice President, Wealth Management, with the Pikes Peak Group at Morgan Stanley. I'm business partners with fellow runners, John Gardner and Scott Perry

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
I relocated here from CA in November of 2003. My office lease was expiring at the end of the year and I was going to need to move to another location. I had backpacked in & around Colorado after college and fell in love with the area. So although my firm has about 10 offices in Orange County, I figured it was a good time to escape. Have never looked back.

When I started running and what got me started:
El Nino got me started with running (El Nino is a weather pattern that causes heavy rains on the West Coast). I've been an avid road and mountain cyclist since I was 14 years old. During the 1997-1998 winter in So Cal, El Nino wreaked havoc on the trail system, which made it difficult to plan bike rides. In order to stay in shape, I started sneaking out on short runs in between storms. These short runs, although tough at first, started getting longer and longer. Like an addict, I couldn't get enough. I ran my first marathon in Oct. of 98 (Silicon Valley) and now I run at least two to three each year just to stay in shape.

What does running mean to me:
I sit in an office all day, at a desk, in front of a computer, with relatively few breaks. Running gives me freedom. It provides me with sanity. It clears my mind. It keeps me healthy and keeps the stress at bay. It provides me with a sense of accomplishment. It keeps me motivated. It keeps me balanced between work and family. It helps me solve difficult problems. It gives me a substance-free buzz. It's introduced me to life-long friends. It gives me the opportunity to meet up with old friends who have been separated by miles. It gives me an excuse to leave my office on a Wednesday afternoon. It gives me a reason to wake up early in the morning. It improves the odds that I will someday be around to meet my children's children and perhaps even my children's children's children. Running elevates me, yet humbles me at the same time. But most importantly, it makes me smile, and we can certainly use more smiles.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
Going out on that first run in 1997 was my greatest accomplishment. It was probably only around 2 miles, but without that first run, there wouldn't have been a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. Have probably run around 50 or so marathons, LT100 (Leadman 2010), a couple of 50's, and 4x Ironmans. Each one has left me with a positive feeling.

What I like about trail/mountain running:
Clean air, easier on the knees, no cars, lovely scenery, unpredictability, ups & downs, wildlife, cool people, trees, rocks, endless views, great workout, etc.

Favorite running trail and why:
There are too many to love. It wouldn't be fair for me to rank them. Living in Manitou, Iron Mountain and the trails Red Rock Canyon are the easiest and most convenient to access. They're also quite pretty and fun.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
The Catalina Marathon. The race is a point to point trail run that goes across Catalina Island (off the coast of California). Between the beautiful ocean views, the wild buffalo, and the friendly crowd, this is a race I've committed to running every year until the day I die. The streak has been going since 2001.

Best running experience:
Every subsequent run becomes the best running experience because that means I've lived another day to get back out there on the trail. With any luck, I'll be having my best running experience this afternoon.

Worst running experience:
Leadville 100. It took soooooo long! Really boring. But my pacers were great: Paul Sullivan, John Gardner and Tim Steffens. I owe them big time.

Neatest thing found on a run:
A smile (my own) after a tough day.

Running related bathroom stop story:
I've never had a bathroom emergency like so many of my friends. I typically plan for such things.

Running pet peeves:
I have nothing to complain about when it comes to running.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I cut my own hair. Actually, by taking one look at me, you'd probably guess that.

Other hobbies and interests:
I love mountain biking as much as running (depending upon the time of year, I may even like it more). I also enjoy hiking with kids, cooking, volunteering, and I read a ton.

Other stuff:
I help organize the Sunrise Strider group as part of PPRR. We train on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They've helped me stay motivated and have held me accountable since 2005. www.sunrisestriders.com.

Page last modified: 5/22/2015

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